The Einstein Postdoctoral Association
The Einstein Postdoctoral Association (EPA) was organized in 1996 by two postdoctoral researchers, Fiona Pixley and Paula Cohen, to provide a forum for postdocs at Einstein. From the beginning, the EPA has been a volunteer organization run by postdocs with one goal in mind: to serve the postdoctoral community. Originally, elections were held each year to choose two, new co-chairs to lead the organization. However, in the Spring of 2004, the postdoctoral association initiated leadership by a committee of departmental representatives rather than two co-chairs. This joint leadership ensures that all postdocs feel equally represented.
The EPA meets periodically with the leadership of the Belfer Institute to discuss topics of interest, importance, and concern to the postdoctoral community; all postdocs are encouraged to attend these meetings. By working together, over the past several years a number of academic programs have been initiated and quality-of-life issues have been addressed successfully for postdocs by the Belfer Institute. To find details of the next EPA meeting, upcoming events, activities and any additional information relevant to postdocs and the postdoctoral program, please visit our Upcoming Events.
The EPA and Belfer Institute work closely together and all activities sponsored by the EPA are funded by the Belfer Institute. Two EPA representatives are members of the Belfer Institute Advisory Committee, which is responsible for recommending and implementing School policies concerning postdoctoral affairs.
The success of the EPA is directly related to the participation of the Einstein postdocs; please come and join us!
Prior to Arrival
For those individuals who will require a visa, discuss the different visa options with your Principal Investigator (PI) and provide him/her with all pertinent documentation needed to begin the visa process. The International Students and Scholars Office is responsible for providing assistance on immigration matters and for acting as a link with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of State.
When your arrival date at Einstein is established, prepare for the weather conditions accordingly. The New York winters are quite cold and require a warm coat or jacket, gloves, scarf, and it is helpful to have a sturdy pair of walking shoes; summers are quite warm and humid.
If you are a recent graduate, be sure to bring (or send ahead) a copy of your degree or a letter from your University, verifying that you have completed all course requirements, have defended your thesis (if your doctoral degree is a Ph.D.), and giving the date your degree will be conferred. If applicable, please be sure this documentation is translated into English.
Try to be realistic in determining how much money you will need to bring with you to provide support while you are waiting to receive your first paycheck, which takes approximately 4-6 weeks. You will need cash for food, housing, and basic necessities. You may also need to figure in carfare and entertainment (movies, dining out, etc.). A fair estimate would be $2,000 for that period.
Upon Arrival to Einstein
Check with your PI to see if someone is picking you up at the airport; please remember to give the name of your airline, flight number, time of arrival and airport where you are landing. If no one is meeting your flight, you will need to take a taxi; using only yellow medallion cabs is recommended. Approximate cost of taking a taxi from the airport, including tolls and tip, is $50. If arrangements have been made for you to occupy an Einstein apartment, you may request that your PI have someone pick up the keys and have them available for you.
After your arrival, when you meet with your PI, he will give you all the information concerning your research duties, lab location and other-work related issues. You will also meet with your departmental administrator who will assist you in filling out the forms for payroll and help you obtain your Einstein ID from the Security Office.
In compliance with OSHA and New York State Department of Health requirements, every new employee, student and volunteer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is required to have a pre-employment/assignment physical exam. This examination is to be completed prior to an individual’s assignment to their duties. The process, which includes a physical examination, blood tests and testing for some communicable diseases, takes approximately two weeks. If you have not yet done so, please contact your departmental administrator and ensure that an appointment has been made for you to complete these requirements prior to your scheduled start date. Should you have any questions regarding these requirements, you can contact the Einstein Occupational Health Service at 718-430-3141. If you are a visa holder, you will need to consult the website for the International Students and Scholars Office to set up an appointment with Alexia Pakiela, the manager of the International Office. The International Students and Scholars Office will also provide you with the form for obtaining a Social Security card, which you must have in order to receive your first paycheck or open a bank account. After you have finished all the necessary paperwork, you should then stop by the Belfer Institute Office and introduce yourself to the administrator, who will give you a brief overview of the Belfer Institute, help you sign up for your email account and answer any questions you might have about the College and/or the postdoctoral program.
Housing for Postdocs
If you are interested in residing in Einstein postdoc housing, it is advisable to have your PI submit the necessary forms to the Belfer Institute office to have you placed on the waiting list as soon as possible. All Einstein apartments are unfurnished and include heat and hot water. Air conditioning units are provided in each apartment; each tenant is responsible for establishing an account to pay for electricity. The Housing Office will be able to provide you with the number to call at Con Edison, the utility company that services the Bronx. If you do not choose to be placed on the waiting list for Einstein housing and prefer to reside in non-Einstein housing in the community, you would be wise to consult a realtor in the area. Local realtors have listings of apartments or houses in the vicinity that are available for rent. The rent for a non-Einstein apartment will be higher than that of Einstein housing, and in most cases, you will need to pay the real estate broker a fee, generally in the amount of one or two month’s rent.
If you wish to have telephone service in your apartment, you must first purchase the telephone of your choice, then contact Verizon, the company that provides local service in the Bronx. However, you will have several options when choosing your long-distance carrier; you may first wish to compare what services each carrier provides and what the monthly costs are.
Many postdocs opt for using cellular phone service rather than purchasing an apartment telephone.